Netflix's "Hollywood"

So, Netflix just released a miniseries yesterday (May 1, 2020) called "Hollywood"

Had not heard or seen anything about it, and when you see the trailer, the basic vibe you get is "Golden Era Hollywood, race relations, sexual tension, etc." What you do not realize from the trailer is:

The show is actually a soft alternate history. It opens in 1947 Hollywood, and follows a mix of fictional characters and very real characters - including Anna May Wong, Rock Hudon, and Hattie McDaniel. What happens is ultimately a movie being produced with an African American female lead, written by an African American gay writer, that ultimately gets nominate - and wins - several Academy Awards. The show ends very seriously implying that the movie has caused a major shuffle in American values, and that it is kick-starting several civil rights movements decades earlier than OTL - African American; women; and LGBT.

Now, the whole story is very clearly wish-fulfillment. And frankly, during our current moment, I'm fine with that.

What I'm curious about now, having finished the show, is what would come after it?

Again, there's a suspension of disbelief, and so you just take that into consideration and go from there. I'm fully well aware that the likelihood of what happens in the show would actually have happened, for all the obvious reasons. But, the show having already gone there, I'm curious about what happens afterwards.

What's the long term impact of:

An African American actress winning the Oscar for Best Actress in 1948, instead of 2001 as in OTL?

The winner of the 1948 Oscar for best screenplay showing up at the Oscars with his boyfriend, Rock Hudson, and then openly giving credit to him in the speech - referring to his boyfriend, live on air. It's implied in the last scene that this action, in particular, has "sparked something" in other queer people wanting to stop hiding?

Having a woman take over a major studio and becoming a major Hollywood player in 1948?

Thoughts?
 
I hadn’t heard of this project, and while some may criticize its woke/diversity angle, similar to For All Mankind, it sounds interesting. I find it fascinating that a lot of recent AH television works aren’t obvious stuff like Confederacy/Nazi victories but rather lower-stakes political stuff like 1983 (Poland stays communist) or the upcoming CBC production La Maison Bleue ('96 Quebec independence referendum succeeds, comedy ensues).
 
Had such a film so many awards during the Academy Awards ceremony of early 1948, I could see it causing a massive cultural backlash in other parts of America. Perhaps Strom Thurmond sweeps the South in the presidential election.
 
What? Just because there was some movie that wins awards in Hollywood doesn't mean it's some sort of 9/11 touchstone that causes a right-winger to win the presidency.
 
What? Just because there was some movie that wins awards in Hollywood doesn't mean it's some sort of 9/11 touchstone that causes a right-winger to win the presidency.
I mean (not to suggest President Thurmond is likely) but the KKK did base their whole look on a movie, and some people were upset that Parasite was Korean and won.
 
I have to say that bigotry was so widespread and ingrained at this time that its probably unrealistic to have them cross so many boundaries at once. If the LGBT people were white they would have a much less harder time being accepted for who they were. But when you put race and even worse from the perspective of the bigots interracial AND gay relationships out there that really could have caused a backlash at the time that would set things back-as many would argue we are living in right now. Of course even if this happened with white LGBT people not everyone would be on board but if most were it improves the climate for Civil Rights progress in general.
 
I hadn’t heard of this project, and while some may criticize its woke/diversity angle, similar to For All Mankind, it sounds interesting. I find it fascinating that a lot of recent AH television works aren’t obvious stuff like Confederacy/Nazi victories but rather lower-stakes political stuff like 1983 (Poland stays communist) or the upcoming CBC production La Maison Bleue ('96 Quebec independence referendum succeeds, comedy ensues).
Yeah this one definitely snuck in there out of nowhere. Was a nice surprise. And yeah it is interesting that these studios are taking on other productions that aren't the low hanging fruit of AH, and I am all for it. I need to pick 1983 back up. I watched the first few episodes and it was pretty cool. Haven't heard about the one from CBC. Interesting.

Had such a film so many awards during the Academy Awards ceremony of early 1948, I could see it causing a massive cultural backlash in other parts of America. Perhaps Strom Thurmond sweeps the South in the presidential election.
What? Just because there was some movie that wins awards in Hollywood doesn't mean it's some sort of 9/11 touchstone that causes a right-winger to win the presidency.
I mean (not to suggest President Thurmond is likely) but the KKK did base their whole look on a movie, and some people were upset that Parasite was Korean and won.
So in the show, there's definitely discussion of backlash from the South. Essentially, most theaters in the South refuse to show the picture, Meg (which is about a young African American woman that comes to LA to become an actress and all the ups and downs - and is an issue because 1)the lead is African American, and 2)it depicts an interracial couple - and a kiss between them.). The studio is able to get some major theaters in the bigger cities in the South to show the picture, however - covering the cost of security, and lowering the ticket price for the film nationwide to ensure more people can see it. It's the first "wide release."

I could see there being some sort of political backlash, especially since it is an election year. Not sure we'd see Thurmond snag the White House, but we'd see earlier split between the southern and northern democrats. Elenore Roosevelt is in the show and she is part the push that gets the studio to green-light the picture.

I have to say that bigotry was so widespread and ingrained at this time that its probably unrealistic to have them cross so many boundaries at once. If the LGBT people were white they would have a much less harder time being accepted for who they were. But when you put race and even worse from the perspective of the bigots interracial AND gay relationships out there that really could have caused a backlash at the time that would set things back-as many would argue we are living in right now. Of course even if this happened with white LGBT people not everyone would be on board but if most were it improves the climate for Civil Rights progress in general.
So the picture itself doesn't deal with LGBT issues....it just happens that the writer of the film is gay and essentially comes out publicly at the Oscars, with his boyfriend Rock Hudson. I definitely think there would be backlash, but I could see a stronger and faster push for all sorts of Civil Rights issues at an earlier rate than OTL, at least in the environment the show sets up by its end.
 
So the picture itself doesn't deal with LGBT issues....it just happens that the writer of the film is gay and essentially comes out publicly at the Oscars, with his boyfriend Rock Hudson. I definitely think there would be backlash, but I could see a stronger and faster push for all sorts of Civil Rights issues at an earlier rate than OTL, at least in the environment the show sets up by its end.
Thanks for the clarification but if this gay screenwriter was white the support for him would likely have been more broad leading to quicker and more impactful changes regarding Civil Rights. Such a change would have been a good thing regardless of the race of the person involved but the race of that person would play a big role in how the change was perceived. Suppose that in his first year in MLB Jackie Robinson not only became the first black player in the League but if he also broke Babe Ruth's record ? The reaction to him and what he represented would likely have been much more negative...
 
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Thanks for the clarification but if this gay screenwriter was white the support for him would likely have been more broad leading to quicker and more impactful changes regarding Civil Rights. Such a change would have been a good thing regardless of the race of the person involved but the race of that person would play a big role in how the change was perceived. Suppose that in his first year in MLB Jackie Robinson not only became the first black player in the League but if he also broke Babe Ruth's record ? The reaction to him and what he represented would likely have been much more negative...
Oh I agree. It wouldn't be all sunshine, roses, and lollipops. In the show itself, this is acknowledged (though admittedly underplayed). During the production of the film, the Klan burns crosses at the houses of the director, lead actress, and the studio executive, and they actually throw a Molotov cocktail into the home of the screenwriter.

The show. closes "one year later" (so 1949), and there's talk of Hollywood not being the same, but also pushback. Also, the studio exec greenlights a same-sex love story flick.

Again, I fully acknowledge this show is looking through very rose-colored glasses. But I am intrigued on how it would play out from there, with an awakened Civil Rights movement in the late 40s with regards to race, gender, and sexual orientation.
 
Again, I fully acknowledge this show is looking through very rose-colored glasses. But I am intrigued on how it would play out from there, with an awakened Civil Rights movement in the late 40s with regards to race, gender, and sexual orientation.
FYI The Axis of Time series by John Birmingham touches on this issue through the transfer of a diverse group of mostly Western military members from the 2020's to the 1940's... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_of_Time
 
Perhaps with Hollywood going more liberal - the South will create their own more conservative version of Hollywood. We really get a cultural war going.
 
Perhaps with Hollywood going more liberal - the South will create their own more conservative version of Hollywood. We really get a cultural war going.
That would be interesting as well. It wouldn't be as successful I don't think. But I could see it happening. Where would it be? Florida?
 
That was my first thought
That was just my first knee-jerk thought, due in part to another TL I wrote where California doesn't become part of the USA, and Florida became the big US film capital.

I feel like any such splinter film industry would be second-rate at best, and have almost no major penetration into theaters outside the South. That's not to say it wouldn't be "successful," in so much as it would turn a profit and continue to make culturally conservative films for decades.

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With this early kick-start to several civil rights movements at the end of the 1940s, I am wondering what this would do to other major milestones.

- Civil Rights Act approved in the mid-1950s.
- An ERA type amendment coming about between 1955-1965.
- When the show ends, a pro-LGBT film is greenlit by the studio head. This is 1949, so the film would probably be released in 1950.
- With this earlier visibility, I would imagine some sort of Stonewall-esque moment probably occurring in the mid-1950s.

An earlier "culture war" is also likely. That could be interesting politically, as this would be before the Democrats became the party of civil rights, so maybe in this ALT, the Republicans might be the civil rights party and the Dems the social conservative party.
 
That was just my first knee-jerk thought, due in part to another TL I wrote where California doesn't become part of the USA, and Florida became the big US film capital.

I feel like any such splinter film industry would be second-rate at best, and have almost no major penetration into theaters outside the South. That's not to say it wouldn't be "successful," in so much as it would turn a profit and continue to make culturally conservative films for decades.

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With this early kick-start to several civil rights movements at the end of the 1940s, I am wondering what this would do to other major milestones.

- Civil Rights Act approved in the mid-1950s.
- An ERA type amendment coming about between 1955-1965.
- When the show ends, a pro-LGBT film is greenlit by the studio head. This is 1949, so the film would probably be released in 1950.
- With this earlier visibility, I would imagine some sort of Stonewall-esque moment probably occurring in the mid-1950s.

An earlier "culture war" is also likely. That could be interesting politically, as this would be before the Democrats became the party of civil rights, so maybe in this ALT, the Republicans might be the civil rights party and the Dems the social conservative party.
Swap out the Southern Strategy for an Urban Strategy?
 
Something to consider is that OTL there were also two other major factors in pushing the Civil Rights agenda. One was a strong desire to deny the Soviet Union the use of a strong anti-American propaganda tool that they were using especially in the Third World and the other was a widespread negative reaction to the anti black violence taken by state and local government agents and private citizens in the South in reaction to boycotts ,protests and federal interventions. Does this change eliminate those or just change when the happen ?
 
GOP. If they double down on more progressive urban areas and peel away liberal Dems instead of focusing on the solid south and scooping up conservative Dems (as in OTL)
Well, upon further review, I'm not sure it would go down this way. I think the short-term political backlash to "Meg" sweeping the Oscars, followed by raising of racial and sexual issues, would see a larger Dixiecrat Revolt in 1948, rallying behind Strom Thurmond. He may get half a million more votes than the 1 million he got OTL. I don't *think* this would be enough to cost Truman the election.

However, what comes AFTER this initial revolt could be quite different. In the show, Elanore Roosevelt plays a key roll in convincing the wife of Ace Studio's chief executive (who was temporarily in charge) to greenlight the controversial film Meg, starring an African American actress as the lead character. I would imagine that after the film's box office and Oscars success, that she would comment on this, and we'd see more socially-reformed minded Democrats speak out for it. In the same vein, Truman might have more to say when he de-segregates the Army that same year.

This being so, what we might see instead of what I proposed earlier (the Dems remain conservative, GOP more liberal), is that we see an earlier shift in national politics, where the Democrats become firmly the party of liberal social reform and champion of Civil Rights in the early 1950s, with the Dixiecrats having a moment in the wilderness before joining the Republicans.

Though...the Republicans might not be all that welcoming at first, at least not publicly. Sure, southern states jumping to their side could easily give them Congress by 1950 with Truman still in the White House, but I could see major party leaders not wanting to abandon the mantle of "the party of Lincoln" and so reject the racist viewpoints of many of the Dixiecrats. We end up with some sort of weird regional party that isn't viable on a national stage, and politics remain in flux for maybe a decade as things sort themselves back out. What would probably happen is that the Dixiecrats would be forced to drop the support for racism (publicly, at least), and pivot to "family values" by the late 1950s, which would coincide with a rising gay rights and women's movement.

Something to consider is that OTL there were also two other major factors in pushing the Civil Rights agenda. One was a strong desire to deny the Soviet Union the use of a strong anti-American propaganda tool that they were using especially in the Third World and the other was a widespread negative reaction to the anti black violence taken by state and local government agents and private citizens in the South in reaction to boycotts ,protests and federal interventions. Does this change eliminate those or just change when the happen ?
I don't think the change totally eliminates these factors, probably just changes when they happen, and their severity.

In the show, the controversial film Meg IS shown in the South, at least in the major cities, and is in fact the first film to be a "wide release."

What I'd imagine here is that it causes people outside the South to become more aware of the plight of African Americans in the South earlier on. We'd probably see earlier marches and boycott movements (some sort of alt-Rosa Parks moment say in 1949 instead of 1955). Hollywood also becoming more vocally activistic in this time, we'd see other films coming out in the following years casting People of Color in major roles, and from multiple studios now that one has done so.

Yes, there would be a significant backlash to this movement, similar to OTL, but I think there would be more national outcry against it.
 
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